Understanding the Top 5 Challenges Faced by Accounts Payable Departments in 2023

 08/23/2023 by Andy Birkey

The realm of finance, particularly the Accounts Payable (AP) department, has evolved rapidly over the last few years. With digitization, increasing compliance requirements, and economic uncertainties, the AP landscape in 2023 is vastly different from the past. In this post, we will delve deep into the top five challenges faced by AP departments in 2023.

1. Integration of Advanced Technologies

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA), AP departments are finding it challenging to integrate these technologies seamlessly. While these tools promise efficiency and error reduction, implementing them without causing disruption to existing processes has become a hurdle. Many departments face issues related to data compatibility, training personnel, and managing the costs associated with these technologies. Fortunately, MetaViewer has a team of specialists ready to help you get your systems integrated!

2. Inflation and Economic Volatility

Inflation, characterized by the general rise in the prices of goods and services, has a profound impact on Accounts Payable (AP) departments. As prices increase, the purchasing power of money decreases, leading to higher costs for goods and services that businesses need. For AP departments, this means an uptick in the amounts payable to suppliers and vendors. Consequently, organizations may face challenges with cash flow management as their existing funds might not cover costs as effectively as before. In an inflationary scenario, timely payments become crucial; delays can lead to steeper expenses as prices continue to rise. AP Automation solutions like MetaViewer can help ease this inflationary pressure by increasing efficiency and capturing cost savings with timely payments.  

3. The Great Resignation

The Great Resignation challenges the stability and efficiency of AP departments. The exodus of experienced personnel from AP departments has created a knowledge gap, leading to potential inefficiencies and errors in processes that were once seamless. Training new hires becomes imperative, but it's a time-consuming endeavor, particularly when nuanced financial systems and internal protocols are involved. Additionally, with fewer staff, there's increased pressure on existing employees to manage a higher volume of invoices, payments, and vendor relations, potentially leading to burnout or mistakes due to overwork. For AP departments seeking ways to alleviate some of these staffing pressures, a switch to AP automation solutions like MetaViewer is the key. 

4. ERP and AP Systems Integration

At its core, ERP systems are expansive, often designed to handle a broad range of organizational functions, from inventory management to human resources. On the other hand, AP systems are specialized, focusing on the intricacies of invoicing, payments, and supplier management. Bridging these two can be complicated due to potential mismatches in data formats, workflows, and terminologies. Implementing an automation solution can bridge that gap.

5. Sustainability

With the increasing global emphasis on sustainable business practices, AP departments are under pressure to transition to paperless operations. This entails adopting electronic invoicing, payments, and document management systems. However, the transition isn't straightforward. It demands investments in new technologies and training staff in new digital procedures. Fortunately, MetaViewer is your one-stop shop for AP automation solutions and training!

While the landscape of Accounts Payable in 2023 presents numerous challenges, it also offers opportunities for organizations to evolve, streamline operations, and enhance efficiency. Embracing change, investing in training, and being proactive in updating processes will be key for AP departments to navigate these challenges successfully. Reach out to MetaViewer to learn how we can help!

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